Mae Taeng is a district in Chiang Mae province, about an hour and a half away from Chiang Mai city. On its western side, Mae Tang borders with Pai (which belongs to Mae Hong Son province) and the road leading to the town of Pai. On its northern side, Mae Tang borders with Chiang Dao district and the way leading north towards Chiang Rai.
The excellent geographical location of Mae Tang area, it’s various attractions and diverse activities, make it a significant point in all our luxury tour routes through northern Thailand. Therefore, I’ve chosen Mae Tang as the branching spot for these routes.
After you’ve enjoyed various attractions and fun activities in the area, and stayed in a lovely local resort – you can either continue your journey to the north through Chiang Dao and up to Chiang Rai, or head west towards the lovely town of Pai and then continue to Mae Hong Son – while exploring wonderful sites along the way and in the region, including UNSEEN, unique places.
Most of the tourist activities in Chiang Mae area are based in Taeng Mae and its vicinity – many elephant farms, zip lines, rafting, ATV tours and more; everything is available in a rather small area.
Unfortunately, you’ll also find here extremely commercialized sites with a disgraceful exploitation of elephants, animal shows of all sorts, ox carriages etc. – that I strongly recommend you avoid.
An important note: animal shows and commercialized animal-related activities are excluded from our private luxury tours across Thailand. We refuse to include commercialized animal shows, as we believe that animals belong in their natural habitat or in decent farms where they are treated and rehabilitated appropriately. We make sure to double check every site that involves animals, while consulting authorized professionals in the area.
Here is a brief summary of the main attractions and activities in Mae Taeng area
Various activities in Mae Taeng area:
Elephant rides and horse carriages
This poor “attraction” refers to 2-3 local ‘factories’ for elephant rides and ox carriages, ‘entertaining’ hundreds and possibly thousands of tourists who come here as part of their travels or day-tours. They come in dozens of busses, and the poor elephants must constantly carry a heavy bench on their backs to ‘entertain’ them, as the tourists sit on the animal’s back and go for a ride. The site features a wooden ramp that stands between the “elephant riding industry” and the “ox carriage industry”. In between, there are also “elephant shows” presenting “drawing elephants” etc.
In my opinion, such activities pertain to the poorest part of the “tourism industry” and I pity the poor animals and tourists who spend their time on this redundant ‘attraction’. When I inquired on site why do so many tourists come here, I found out that this is simply the cheapest activity in the area, and that high commissions are given to those who bring the tourists to the site.
My Opinion: a poor experience that I suggest you avoid.
Such activities are excluded from our luxury tour plans.
This area features many companies that provide ATV tours, but the quality of equipment, safety procedures and standards may vary from one company to another, and the tour routes are different too. The season is also a factor you should consider as not all seasons are suitable for the ATV experience.
- To read an extended review and watch a clip about ATV tours follow this link => to be posted soon
My Opinion: a great experience if your visit takes place in a suitable season, and you have chosen a good route and a decent, reliable company to provide the tour.
♥ A quality ATV tour is included as part of our private luxury tour plans in the north of Thailand, without any extra charge.
Here too, the route location, quality and safety varies from one company to another, so make sure you are using a reliable, organized company with quality equipment and properly trained, experienced instructors that guide you.
- To watch a clip about the ziplines that I’ve taken follow this link => click and watch
My Opinion: an excellent and fun experience.
♥ Quality zip-lines are included as part of our private luxury tour plans in the north of Thailand, without any extra charge.
The local rafting experience depends on picking the right company – since Mae Taeng area is packed full of tourists, many companies provide similar services and activities. Some of them are hardly professional and offer low prices – so don’t be tempted by their cheap deals. In our tours, we’ve picked a high quality, experienced company with a good reputation, high quality equipment and most of all – qualified, trained and experienced guides with international rafting certificates – certainly don’t settle on this factor and consider the season; there is a big difference in rafting during different times of the year.
My opinion: a great experience if you choose a good, reliable company, in the right season.
- To read an extended review of rafting and watch a clip about it, follow this link => click here
♥ Rafting is included in our private quality tours to northern Thailand without any extra cost.
“Being Mahout for a day” is a positive elephant experience, that distinctly contrasts the negative elephant rides/ox carriages industry that I mentioned earlier. As I wrote in the introduction – you can find decent, worthy elephant farms that care for the animals, and here I’d like to suggest this lovely activity with elephants – “Being Mahout for a day”.
- To watch a clip of the unique elephant experience which I’ve taken on site, => click the link.
My Opinion: a unique, exciting and fun experience.
♥ You can enjoy the experience as part of our private luxury tour plans in the north of Thailand.
Attractions in Mae Taeng area
Ban Den Temple
You don’t have to be a temple enthusiast to fall for this wonderful place, that seems to come out of a Disney animated movie.
- To read an extended review of Ban Den and watch a clip about it, follow this link => click here
My Opinion: a unique, magical place. Don’t miss it!!!
♥ Ban Den is included in our private quality tours to northern Thailand.
“The Geyser”, or in its full name Pong Dueat Hot Spring, somehow became famous, from a reason that’s certainly a mystery to me. I find this ‘attraction’ very mediocre and redundant.
My opinion: a mediocre attraction; certainly not worth a special trip to the place.
- To read an extended review of the ‘Geyser’ and watch a clip about it, follow this link => click here
♥ The site is not included in our private quality tours to northern Thailand because of its mediocre quality, but since our tour route to Mae Hong Son passes close by, we will stop there, if you still wish to do so.
Mork Fa waterfall
This attraction is located on the way from Mae Taeng to the town of Pai in Mae Hong Son. The waterfall is not particularly high or large, but certainly impressive and beautiful; it is one of the finest, most pleasant waterfalls in northern Thailand.
Mork Fa waterfall have several advantages beyond their natural beauty – easy arrival, comfortable bathing possibilities (remember to bring your bathing suits and towels) and most importantly – a waterflow that persists throughout the year, even during the hot, dry months, in the unpleasant weather conditions of the northern summer.
My opinion: among the most beautiful and pleasant waterfalls in the north. Highly recommended!!
- To read an extended review of the Mork Fa waterfall and watch a clip about it, follow this link => click here
♥ Visiting and bathing in Mork Fa waterfall is included in our private luxury tour plans in northern Thailand, as part of the Pai and Mae Hong Son route.
Resorts and restaurants in the area
To complete the luxury tour experience, you’ll need an excellent resort as well as quality restaurants, that are clean, hospitable, and offer rich, diverse and delicious cuisines. Thus, we have ‘scanned’ and searched thoroughly across the area, to find the best resorts and restaurants for our travelers. I’m happy to say that we have succeeded.
The resort in Mae Taeng area which was chosen to host our travelers after an eventful day of fun and excitement is an excellent place. We visited there several times, and I am positive that you’ll love it as I do.
As for restaurants – it’s not always easy to find a good, decent place to eat in rural and village areas, but I’m happy to say we’ve succeeded in that as well. We found a beautiful, clean restaurant with a delicious, rich and diverse menu.